Tom Ham’s Lighthouse in San Diego, California

Dining Outside the Home: Tom Ham’s Lighthouse in San Diego, California. Did you ever wish, as a kid, that you could eat in a real lighthouse? How cool is that?! Tom Ham understood the allure of making dreams comes true. This is the only restaurant in the United States to have a USCG operated and maintained lighthouse attached to it. Its location is even listed on nautical maps as Beacon #9, making Tom Ham’s Lighthouse an architectural landmark. Dine outside on a sunny day with a view of Harbor Island, Coronado Bridge, the San Diego Bay, and skyline. Munch away on Corn and Shrimp fritters before ordering the fresh Tuna Niçoise Salad. This is just a sampling of the fabulous food you’ll experience from the restaurant on the water’s edge. Thank you, Mr. Ham, for making dreams come true.

Corned Beef Brisket

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food Junkie Favorites: Corned Beef Brisket! Eating corned beef brisket isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day anymore. However, it’s the best time to stock up when it’s popular and readily available at the nearby market. Go from the traditional favorite dinner one day to corned beef hash and eggs the next morning and Reuben sliders for a late night snack. Are you getting the idea? Be creative and tell me yours!

CORNED BEEF BRISKET

Ingredients:

3-pound corned beef brisket, boneless

1/8 teaspoon thyme

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon peppercorns

1 tablespoon bay leaves

1 cup ginger beer or water

1-pound baby carrots, peeled

4 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon paprika

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300°. Place corned beef brisket, fat side up, in a covered roaster. Sprinkle spices on top. Add 1 cup of ginger beer or water. Cover and roast for three hours. The guideline is one hour per pound. After 2 hours add carrots to roaster. Cover and cook for 1 hour. At that time, the contents should be fork tender. Let the brisket rest for 15 minutes before slicing across the grain. Remove carrots and place in a bowl. Add butter to coat. Sprinkle with paprika.

BOILED CABBAGE

Ingredients:

1 head of cabbage

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter

Instructions:

In a deep pan, add 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add cabbage quarters and salt. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Turn cabbage with tongs. Simmer 5 minutes longer until tender. Drain well. Add butter to coat cabbage thoroughly.

PARSLEY BOILED POTATOES

Ingredients:

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into sections

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon parsley

Instructions:

Place potatoes in 2 quart saucepan. Pour in enough water to cover. Add salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook potatoes 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Add butter to coat. Garnish with parsley.

Lemongrass Grill in Kapaa, Kauai

Dining Outside the Home: Lemongrass Grill in Kapaa, Kauai! Venture down the road to Choy Village for a quiet dinner in an old Kauaiian homestead. The tropical ambiance of Lemongrass Grill stretches from outdoor patio dining to indoor secluded areas. Their specialties include international dishes from land and sea. If curry is your thing, Lemongrass Grill is spot on with gluten-free and vegetarian entrees. Happy hour cocktails and appetizers influence your time among the Pan-Asian culture. Take a sip of the popular “Blue Hawaiian”, garnished with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry. Take a break from the beach to be transported away for a satisfying meal. You deserve it.

Food Junkie Favorites

Hello, my name is Gail and I’m a Food Junkie. I confess that I eat to live and enjoy the ride. I like fresh ingredients, garden herbs, rich chocolate, and French butter…to name just a few. But I’m in good company. Some of my posts have been favored by the “Food Network” on Twitter as well as Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) on Instagram. Come along with me for “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Food Junkie Favorites! This remarkable journey of the palate is special because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? It’s as simple as reciting your A-B-Cs. One of my passions is being at home in my own country kitchen. I love to cook, and my husband loves that I do it often. Now more than ever, since I am retired, I relish the thought of creating something delicious from scratch. I adore time-honored traditions using tried-and-true recipes. Yet, I often never think twice about tweaking old favorites or modifying others to suit the inner craving of the moment. Most of the recipes serve 2-4 people, but can be altered in any direction. The leftovers are golden morsels to be eaten again later or shared with others. And I love to share. To me, seeing a smile in gratitude is thanks enough. The recipes you will find here in the next several weeks can be prepared very easily. Feel free to contact me with questions. Now take a deep breath, inhale the aromas, and join me on a tasteful journey entitled, “EATING MY WAY THROUGH THE ALPHABET: FOOD JUNKIE FAVORITES!”

Searsucker in San Diego, California

Dining Outside the Home: Searsucker in San Diego, California. How many restaurants do you visit that actually encourage “shared plates”? Searsucker doesn’t mind. In fact they recommend it. They understand the trend of grazing. After all, friends get together to unwind over savory foods and playful cocktails, so this is the best way to try new things. When you think about it, presentation is love at first sight. Small bites can offer big flavor combinations. Take a look at the Spicy Ahi Poke with taro root chips. You can almost taste the toasted sesame and spicy sriracha. But why take my word for it? Take a seat inside for a crowd or table for two on the patio. Either way, you can count on sharing.

Toscana Cafe and Wine Bar in San Diego, California

Dining Outside the Home: Toscana Cafe and Wine Bar in San Diego, California. After a day of walking around downtown in the bustling Gaslamp District, rest your feet at a corner table where the music is soft and the romantic mood is perfect for sharing. This is Toscana Cafe and Wine Bar, an authentic Italian ristorante, which features amazing dishes like fresh burrata and beet salad, for starters. If you have yet to try burrata cheese, it is a semi-soft cheese that is formed into a pouch, then filled with soft curd and cream. Once it is sliced open, the luscious cream spills out. Act like this is no surprise to you, but try not to lick your fingers. That’s amore.

Flour & Barley Brick Oven Pizza in Las Vegas, Nevada

Dining Outside the Home: Flour & Barley Brick Oven Pizza in Las Vegas, Nevada. Everyone has that craving for pizza at one time or another. Flour & Barley, on The Linq Promenade, designed an Italian-American eatery for just that reason. Don’t expect the ordinary choices, though. Flour & Barley focuses on uniquely fresh ingredients, gluten-free options, specialty Italian sauces, and even a vegan cheese if needed. Pizza not your thing? No worries. Go with a meal salad, pasta dish, or seafood entree. It’s all good. Hip patio dining offers the perfect vantage point for people-watching plus a nice view of the High Roller.

Salisbury Steak

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Salisbury Steak! Everyone knows it’s not really steak, but instead hamburger patties smothered in thick brown gravy. I like to think of it as savory meatloaf patties that are more economical than certified Angus sirloin steak. And honestly, I’ve never heard a single complaint when serving this American favorite. Add mashed potatoes and your choice of vegetable. It takes less than hour to prepare from start to finish.

SALISBURY STEAK

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef, lean

1/3 cup onion, chopped

1/3 dry bread crumbs

1 tablespoon Lea and Perrins sauce

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

1 tablespoon olive oil

For Gravy:

2 cups beef broth

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

Instructions:

Combine ground beef, onion, bread crumbs, Lea and Perrins sauce, egg, and parsley in a medium bowl. Mix well and form into meat patties. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Brown the patties 4-5 minutes, then flip and brown 4 minutes longer. Remove from skillet. Add olive oil and mushrooms to the skillet over medium heat. Cook until soft. Sprinkle flour over all. Gradually add beef broth. Using a whisk, stir to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil. As the sauce thickens, reduce heat and cook for 1 minute longer. Return Salisbury steaks to pan. Coat with gravy. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, Nevada

Dining Outside the Home: Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, Nevada When it’s hot outside in Vegas, crank up the heat even more at Hell’s Kitchen with smoky cocktails and iced shrimp cocktail. The world-renowned celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay, recreated the infamous studio set from the television show. Prepare to be amazed. The sleek contemporary restaurant also landed a view overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. But forget all that. Come to Hell’s Kitchen for the outstanding food, extraordinary cocktails, and the dining ambiance. Take your time. The Beef Wellington is unsurpassed, which is the reason for the HK Signature Prix Fixe Menu. The final culmination of a fabulous meal would be the Sticky Toffee Pudding. Don’t forget the coffee.